The Washington Post

Lentil-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Lentil-Stuffed Bell Peppers 6.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Weeknight Vegetarian Oct 2, 2017

This flavor-packed dish relies on red lentils, which cook quickly. Choose rounded, rather than elongated, bell peppers here.

Serve with long-grain rice.

To read the accompanying story, see: The best bell pepper for stuffing, in my book, is anything but green.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

  • 6 red, yellow or orange bell peppers (or a mix; see headnote)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (2 cups)
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade or no-salt-added vegetable broth (see related recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for optional garnish

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Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and reserve them; discard the seeds and membranes from inside the peppers.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat in a large skillet for which there is a tightfitting lid. Add the bell peppers and cook, turning frequently, until they are lightly browned on all sides, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer them to a plate.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seed and cook for 2 minutes, until they begin to pop and brown. Add the onions and jalapeño (to taste); cook, stirring frequently, until softened and lightly browned, 8 minutes. Stir in the ginger, lentils and broth.

Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, so the liquid is barely bubbling. Cover with the lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the lentils are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, coriander and cilantro; taste, and add more salt and pepper, as needed. This is your filling.

While the lentils are cooking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Transfer the bell peppers to an ovenproof casserole dish, trimming their bottoms, as needed, to help them stand upright. Divide the filling mixture among them, filling the peppers up to the rim. Top with the reserved bell pepper caps. Bake (middle rack) until the peppers are just tender when pierced with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes.

Garnish with more chopped cilantro or whole leaves, if desired; serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Vegan: The Cookbook" by Jean-Christian Jury (Phaidon, 2017).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (without the rice): 280

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 11g 17%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 250mg 10%

Total Carbohydrates: 35g 12%

Dietary Fiber: 9g 36%

Sugar: 10g

Protein: 11g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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